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Monitor Refresh Rate Mystery Quiz 101! Is more better?

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Hi there girls,OK someone out there MUST know about monitor "refresh" rates and the effect they have on MSFS2002! I have had zero luck nailing anyone down about the subject. Here is the question: "is higher or lower refresh better?" Example: My Sony has refresh rates selections from 65 MHZ to 125 MGZ! I can pick any one I want...so do I want a higher or lower rate? They all seem to work OK! Is there a rule or a standard to follow? Should I be able to see a difference?Appreciate any one who can shed light on this mysterious subject - one that is never "clearly" explained by anyone, anywhere, anytime! Not even the monitor or graphic card manufacturersThanksJoseph KingKmco

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My understanding is that more is always better.The refresh rate of your monitor should have absolutely no effect on your FS2002 or on any program. The only time you would notice some effect, I suspect, is if your "refresh rate" was actuallyless than the frame rate.... highly unlikely since pretty much the lowest refresh-rate this days would be at least 60 per second, whileframe rates will rarely exceed 30 or 40. And even if higher framerates are being produced, you eyes cannot use them... anything over24 is pretty much wasted on your eyes(the frame rate of movies is 24).First of all, make sure that your video card can drive the monitorat the high rate, and, of course, the monitor has to be able to handleit... the two work together.Your monitor is refreshed with a "zig-zag" beam that draws a line, goes back to the left side, draws the next one, etc. If your monitor has a resolution of 1024 lines, it draws all 1024, then goesback to the top and starts again. The "refresh-rate" is simplyhow many times per second can it draw all 1024 lines. If it wasless than 24, you would see a distinctive flicker to your picture.Even anything less than 60 can be kind of hard on the eyes. Over 72 should be pretty good. Because there will be a limit as to how far that beam can move in a given length of time, often you have to give up resolution(the number of lines on your screen) if you want to use the veryhigh rates. In the meantime, your software prepares a screen for presentation a certain number of times per second (what you call "frame rate").When a frame is ready, it is given to the video card. The videocard produces it on your screen over and over again, at the "refresh rate", until the next frame is ready, and then it repeatsthe process with the new frame, until the next one, etc. Natually, if the program is producing unique frames at a higher rate thanthe monitor is refreshing, then you would be losing frames thatare being produced, but as I mentioned above, that is pretty muchimpossible with current equipment.Art.

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JosephIf your vertical refresh rate is too low you will see a flickering that can be very hard on the eyes. I begin to experience this a little below 70 HZ but it varries for different people. However if you use 3d shutter glasses like eDimensional most people will require a higher rate, like 100 HZ or more. If you aren't experienceing problems I don't know of any advantage or disadvantage to increasing your refresh rate.David

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Joseph,The rule about refresh rates is a simple one - use the lowest one that gives you a flicker-free image. As far as I can ascertain the refresh rate has no discernable effect on frame rates in FS. However, there's no point in working the graphics card any harder than it's already working and if you ask it to push out 125Hz (as opposed to MHz ;-) ) the effort will not bring you any reward.If you run it at 65Hz you will probably suffer with screen flicker. The lowest refresh rate that gives flicker-free images is generally accepted to be 85Hz so I'd advise you to stick to that.The reason it's hard for manufacturers of monitors and graphics cards to offer guidance is because the two work together and how many manufacturers produce both? Generally a graphics card can produce results higher than monitors can support. That's why it's so important to buy the best quality monitor you can. All too often I see requests for the best graphics card but never have I seen a request for the best display! Funny old world eh? :-)Cheers,

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JosephSomething I forgot to mention, in case you aren't aware of it. Your monitors maximum vertical rate varies with screen resolution. If you set it too high for a given resolution you can seriously dammage your monitor.David

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On the question of refresh rates David, most (all?) PCs offer 'optimum' as a refresh rate setting, any idea what actual frequency is set and/or what controls that setting, the graphics card or the monitor?Thanks

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My understanding is that the video card does the determination ofwhat "optimal" means, and sets itself to the "appropriate" frequency. But I don't know exactly how it makes that determination. The limited number of system I have seen all worked perfectly satisfactorily with their "optimum" setting.Art.

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I believe that the OS picks out which resolutons and refresh rates each monitor can support from individual drivers for that monitor. It is important that your OS sees the correct monitor instead of "plug and play monitor" for these settings. I use a CTX VL700 and when I have it installed as such Windows XP limits the refresh rate to 85hz at my resolution of 1024x768. If I wanted to I could install the standard plug and play monitor drivers and go beyond 85hz, but that would surely destroy my monitor and I would have to go buy a new 21 inch sony (hmmmmm...). So, having the correct monitor installed in Windows offers some protection from ourselves. I would think the optimal settings would be the highest refresh rates supported for that monitor and resolution. I hope this helps.

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VulcanOn my GForce2 GTS the Optimal setting appears to be about 60HZ. This is definitelly to low (for me). I need at least 70HZ. On my GForce 3 the Optimal setting is OK.David

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Your video card can produce refresh rates much higher than those you have quoted (60-70Hz) - BUT your monitor may not. I have the latest model Sony Trinitron 17 inch monitor and it can only support 1024x768 resolution at 85 Hz -- so that is what I set my screen to in the Windows settings. Works fine -- no flicker. If I wanted to set it to a resolution of 1280x1024, I could only use a refresh rate of 75 Hz (which is getting a bit low for my old, tired eyes -- too much sunshine and UV rays here in Australia!!!)BarryBarry

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Thanks to Art, Skyboxer, and you David for explaining the optimum setting, I feel better now :-)

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all that , and i think video cards are sync'ed to the refresh rate for "page flipping" [going between front and rear frame buffers]. so the faster the refresh rate the faster[smoother] the rendering on the screen. tom t

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I love all you guys! Even though there is some conflicting views!Thanks to all of you!JosephKosmo

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